O'Fallon kept itself alive for a consolation championship of the Centralia Holiday Tournament with a decisive win over Chicago Sullivan in a late Tuesday.
Before an arena full of empty seats, the Panthers closed out a long second day of basketball with a 55-32 win over Sullivan.
The Panthers will be back on the court at 10 a.m. Tuesday to face Belleville West. The winner of that game advances to the consolation championship game at 6 p.m.
"We were 0-for-the-month so a win feels good," said O'Fallon coach Rick Gibson. "We get to enjoy this for about 10 hours then we're back at it. It's a quick turnaround, but we'll take it."
Senior Chance Armstrong, who entered the game leading the Panthers at 14.3 points per game, was on the bench early with two fouls. It forced other players on the young team to step up and take some shots they might otherwise let Armstrong take.
We get to enjoy this for about 10 hours then we're back at it. It's a quick turnaround, but we'll take it.
Rick Gibson, O’Fallon head basketball coach
Sophomore Jalen Hodge came through with 11 points and four rebounds and Burke Watts pitched in eight points with four rebounds and two assists off the bench.
"Sometimes the guys kind of wait back and rely on Chance to do everything," Gibson said. "It was good to see guys like Jalen step up and make some shots. Burke Watts got some rebounds and did some really good things for us in the paint."
Armstrong still had a game-high 16 points to lead O'Fallon (2-9).
Sullivan kept it a one-point game through the first quarter and were within three midway through the second, when Hodge hit a 3-point shot that signaled the end for the Tigers. From that point to the end of the game, Sullivan scored just eight more points.
The Panthers, meanwhile, had runs of 19-2 run and 15-0.
O'Fallon shot 23 of 46 from the field, including five three-point baskets. Sullivan shot 43 percent, but missed all 13 of its shots beyond the arc.
O'Fallon got scoring from eight players, including eight each from Burke and Ryan Fulton, who added three steals.
Terrell Williams led Sullivan with 10 points, all scored in the first half. He also had six rebounds.